JOPLIN, Mo. — Memorials are one way the community found healing after the May 22, 2011 Joplin tornado.
Here’s a look at several memorials that were created to remember the lives lost.
Paul Bloomberg, parks and recreation director, says, “If you lost someone its hard to get past that, but we sure hope that this is a place where you can come and at least seek healing.”
Cunningham Park has four separate memorials, the Victim’s Memorial, Children’s Memorial, Volunteer Tribute Memorial, and the Butterfly Overlook.
“Nature plays a major role in the healing. So when you walk through the front door of this facility there’s a path you take to reflect and hopefully at some point you do heal from this.”
Saint John’s Regional Medical Center salvaged as many items as they could from the rubble.
Miranda Lewis, Vice President of Donor Engagement and Development, says, “The glass in the old chapel was salvaged and its actually a part of the tarazzo floor in the new hospital in one of the areas. They took great care to maintain the legacy of the old building and what was in Saint Johns but still incorporated in the beautiful new space.”
While Saint John’s was working to get back up and running — Freeman Health System was at full capacity caring for the injured.
Freeman Health System created the Beacon of Hope memorial to remember the employees that worked tirelessly throughout the night.
Wes Braman, Vice President of Business Development Freeman Health System, says, “There was such an outpouring of freeman family members that crawled in here after their homes had been hit. Our employees took a tremendous amount of effort time of their talents and resources to rebuild Joplin.”
Allstate Agent, Loretta Bailey was inspired to create a flag memorial after her 20th street office was hit.
Loretta Bailey, Allstate Memorial Creator, says, “I think Joplin with its spirit we came back and we are better and stronger. And its a moment that changed all of our lives and I think its something that i just want people to remember that.”
The Pizza Hut has a plaque to remember the Pizza Hut family and friends lost in the tornado.
The memorial is to remember the heroic actions that were taken to save lives.
Associates at the Rangeline Walmart came together after the disaster to create a garden.
Andy Martin, Walmart Home Office Operations Team, says, “For me its kind of a place of contentment and resolve and hope. I hope when people come here they get to experience some of that if they are in the park.”